Imran Khan’s Candidate Wins Pakistan’s Senate Chairman Vote

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s candidate was expectedly re-elected Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate, in a vote that’s respite for the government as it seeks to strengthen its hold on power.

Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani won 48 votes in the 100-seat upper house of parliament against the opposition-supported former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, who got 42, while 7 ballots were rejected, according to a televised announcement by presiding officer Muzafar Hussain Shah. Two members didn’t participate in voting.

Sanjrani was first elected as Chairman in 2018 and he survived a no-confidence vote the next year.

The win signals that Khan, who has the backing of the nation’s powerful military, is in control of Parliament and can tackle political and economic challenges facing the South Asian nation. An alliance of opposition parties has been trying to dislodge the former cricket star, who is trying to implement reforms with the help of the International Monetary Fund’s $6 billion loan program. They plan to march on Islamabad on March 26.

Khan was pushed to take a confidence vote, which he won from the directly elected National Assembly - or Parliament’s lower house -, after his finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost a Senate election to Gilani in an upset last week.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.